“I’m proud to take up the reigns as Editor-in-Chief of Mzansi Agriculture talk…this magazine is very close to my heart,” said Maile Matsimela.
Matsimela has been involved with the magazine from concept stage.
“It all started when I had a conversation with my childhood friend, Mr Tshepo Phaahla, who is the President and CEO of Mzansi Agriculture Talk, after we had just buried my cousin in Limpopo in July 2019.
“He asked for my thoughts around starting an agriculture magazine and I said it was a great idea…from there we worked hard towards making it a reality.
“Phaahla studied agriculture and has been in the field ever since. Myself, on other hand, spent 15 years in journalism and have been farming part time for a couple of years,” said Matsimela.
Matsimela said their observation was that there was not enough agricultural information out there to help emerging farmers reach greater heights. For example, if there’s practical information on basic vegetables production, we strongly believe that rural communities will be food secured. It pained our hearts that some of the great farming projects ended up failing because of lack of information.
“We then agreed there was indeed a need for an alternative platform where emerging farmers can get information regarding the sector – from production, market access, and agricultural legislative framework and policies.
“We kept in touch and a few days after the funeral, we started going around and sharing the idea with other people with the hope of bringing them on board,” he said.
Matsimela added that they strongly believed in the idea and that for it to work, they needed to put together a team of experts in every field of their work in order to complement their strengths and weaknesses.
“We moved on with those who bought into the idea and two weeks later, we had a running website. We then followed up with our first copy of the magazine a month later. Today, I’m more than proud to officially take up the role of Editor-in-Chief at Mzansi Agriculture Talk, after completing my commitments at Media24. This publication is very close to my heart as I have been involved from the concept stage.
“I’m certain that the journalism experience I gained from working in senior editorial positions over the years, at Caxton Newspapers and Media24, will come in handy to make Mzansi Agri Talk a success media story.
“We have been around for a year now and we are getting stronger every day. We credit all our success to the hardworking staff, the readers, the farming community, Government departments and the agricultural economists who share their opinions on our platform from time to time,” concluded Matsimela.
Welcoming Matsimela, Phaahla said that they come a long way.
“We grew up in the same village, went to the same school…separated by tertiary institutions and reunited afterwards. I would like to thank him for his dedication and commitment in the project that is Mzansi Agri Talk.
“I’m happy that he is now officially a full-time Editor-in-Chief of this young publication and will help mentor a new crop of agri-journalists that will be joining the company.
“I have no doubt that his wealth of experience in news compiling, analysis and reporting will take this publication to greater heights as envisaged on its core developmental mandate,” said Phaahla.